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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 231-237

Child-centred, cross-sectoral mental health and psychosocial support interventions in the Rohingya response: a field report by Save the Children

1 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Lead, Save the Children in Bangladesh, Bangladesh
2 MHPSS Specialist, Save the Children in Bangladesh, Bangladesh
3 Deputy Team Leader for Program Development and Quality, Save the Children in Bangladesh Rohingya Response, Bangladesh
4 Former Humanitarian Advocacy Manager, Save the Children in Bangladesh, Bangladesh

Correspondence Address:
Aladin Borja Jr.
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Lead. Save the Children Bangladesh, Rohingya Humanitarian Response, Cox’s Bazar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_17_19

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Rohingya refugee children make up 55% of the refugee population living in camp-like settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (Rohingya Humanitarian Joint Response Plan, 2019). The ongoing humanitarian and protection crisis are a result of the displacement of over 700,000 Rohingya during and after a brutal crackdown by the Myanmar military after attacks on border police posts in August 2017. The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission has since concluded that the widespread and systematic attacks amount to crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated against the Rohingya (United Nations, 2018). With the aim to highlight the impact of the humanitarian situation on Rohingya children’s wellbeing, this field report presents insights on child-centred, cross-sectoral mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions in the Rohingya response. Save the Children’s (SC) MHPSS programming framework is discussed, as it reflects the global consensus to push for an integrated approach to MHPSS service provision. Approaches within the child protection, health, nutrition and education sectors are outlined. This report then presents several lessons learned, delving into resources needed and challenges encountered in implementing cross-sectoral MHPSS programming. Gaps in resourcing, technical capacity of personnel and adaptation of tools used in programming figure prominently. This report proposes some recommendations including linking the gains made in the Rohingya response with sustainable prospects such as supporting the Government of Bangladesh in integrating MHPSS into primary health care service delivery in keeping with the recently passed National Mental Health Act of 2018.

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